Long and the short of it: why knee-grazing jorts are big this summer

Unlike 2022’s “one-inch inseam summer”, this year thigh coverage is cool.

Knee-grazing jean shorts, AKA jorts, have replaced bum-grazing short shorts, with retailers reporting a surge in sales and celebrities such as the models Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber championing the longer length styles.

John Lewis has had a 52% uplift in sales compared with last year. Mother Denim says it is shorts with longer inseams and wider legs (from £212) that are performing best, while at Browns, a pair of blue washed Agolde jorts (£210) continually sell out.

It is a growing trend in menswear too, with longer length inseams spotted on the catwalks of Balenciaga and Givenchy and on the rapper A$AP Rocky, who likes to wear jorts with white socks and Timberland boots.

However, the trend doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. The secondhand retailer Beyond Retro offers jorts with a 10in inseam for £6 while some TikTok users have gone viral by embracing a DIY approach.

With just a pair of scissors and an old pair of wide-legged jeans, they boast about achieving a designer look at a fraction of the price.

“We’ve seen a large rise in consumers cutting and splicing full-length jeans to get the perfect pair of shorts,” said Francesca Sieler, the marketing director at Beyond Retro.

“What would have been an unwanted piece has now got a new life and look that is personalised for the consumer.”

Comfort is also a big part of this trend’s appeal. Sitting lower on the hips than Daisy Duke-style shorts, they are also looser around the thigh, meaning the risk of chafing is reduced.

While this summer’s heavy rains have been a washout for most retailers, with consumers spending less on seasonal clothing such as dresses and sandals, jorts are defying the erratic weather and continuing to perform well.

“Longer short styles offer a wide variety of styling options that can more easily transition between warmer and cooler weather,” said Tim Kaeding, the creative director and cofounder of Mother Denim.

Ida Petersson, buying director at Browns, said she first started wearing a pair of jorts that fall to just below the knee in April. “Even though the weather hasn’t been great, I’ve continued to wear them. You can easily layer them with a jacket or a sweater.”

During Copenhagen fashion week, which wrapped on Friday, many international showgoers struggled with the unseasonably cold and rainy weather. Not the Danish influencers however, who teamed longer length jorts with flat knee-high boots and extra long rain jackets.

When the rain did subside, they simply patted dry the sliver of flesh that had been on show.

Jorts – first popularised by hip-hop artists in the late 90s and early 2000s – tap into the ever-growing Y2K trend fuelled by gen Z.

On TikTok, users suggest styling them with other Y2K essentials such as ballet flats and camisole-style tops.

“I think the popularity of longer and baggier jean shorts follows the overall shift towards bigger slouchier denim styles,” Kaeding said. “People are gravitating towards looser fits overall for both comfort and style factors.”

Olivia Buxton Smith, fashion editor at Drest, a fashion gaming company, said jorts play into a more casual way of office dressing that is popular at the moment.

With hybrid working now commonplace for many in the post-pandemic world, shoppers want clothing that reflects this.

“I have a dark coloured pair that sit about an inch above my knee,” said Buxton Smith.

“I wear them with a blazer and a dainty shoe to the office, which has a smart/casual dress code, but I like that I can also wear them with a T-shirt to the pub at the weekend. They’re so versatile, whereas shorter shorts are for holidays only.”

A short history of shorts


Rebelling against some US city laws, which made the wearing of shorts illegal, people begin hacking the legs off their jeans to create their own.


Cutoffs gain popularity among men and women, growing shorter each year.

In the late 70s, Catherine Bach dons the most famous pair of micro jorts to ever grace television as Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard

Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke, 1979.


Inseams become longer, with celebrities such as Madonna popularising knee-length styles.

Madonna and Sandra Bernhard on stage in 1989.


Hip-hop artists such Mobb Deep champion baggier silhouettes teamed with sports socks and trainers.


Indie sleaze sees a return to grungy DIY cutoffs.

Alexa Chung wears Vivienne Westwood at London fashion week, 2009


Beyoncé popularises the denim thong style during her debut Coachella performance.



Models including Hailey Bieber and the Hadid sisters, alongside rappers such as A$AP Rocky, signal a return to 90s jorts.

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